ANOTHER 7,000 households are set to be included in Newport's weekly food waste collection scheme - almost double the number presently able to participate.

A successful pilot scheme introduced by the previous Labour administration in early 2008 and was taken on and extended by the present Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Residents in about 8,000 homes in the city can now put out kitchen waste in special caddies which are picked up every week in kerbside collections at the same time as other recyclable materials.

Cllr David Fouweather told the cabinet of the plan to add a further 7,000 homes to the scheme before Christmas.

He said it was very well supported by residents throughout the city.

Cllr Fouweather said a tendering process for an anaerobic digester - which turns food waste into energy - had begun.

It was recently revealed that Newport had hit a 31 per cent recycling and composting rate well ahead of the Assembly 2010 target date.

Almost 24,000 tonnes of waste did not go to landfill - the equivalent in weight to almost 2,000 school buses.

But it now has to work to meet even more stringent targets in future years.

The council operates a number of recycling projects and works in partnership with charity Newport Wastesavers.

Newspapers, glass, cardboard and garden waste are among the materials collected from people's homes.

People can now also put enveloped and greeting cards in their blue boxes and there are also points throughout the city where residents can recyle paper-based cartons, such as those made by Tetra Pak.

Newport is one of five authorities involved in Prosiect Gwyrdd which is aiming to develop a regional solution to the waste which cannot be recycled or composted.